22 comments

Sad Contemporary Fiction

He’s dead.


Gone forever.


Disappeared, almost as if he didn’t exist at all.


I try to smile politely at the people who offer their condolences to me, but I think they have the brains to understand that I’m merely trying, that I don’t actually mean it.


None of them know what it feels like to lose your child.


Their children are happily living their lives, not having a care in the world.


While my child is very soon going to spend eternity under the ground.


It’s going to be very dark and damp.


How will he be able to get through it without me?


I was always there for him, until I wasn’t.


He left, of his own volition.


He thought that no one would care.


But he forgot about me.


His mother.


He forgot that I cared.


Jason rubs my back, trying to comfort me.


He’s taking over, talking to all the relatives that I’m supposed to, thanking them for coming and accepting the ‘sorry for your loss’s with graciousness.


But I know he’s hurting too.


******


Cecilia is not making things easy for me.


She’s being emotional.


Though that is understandable, she’s not leaving me enough room to be emotional too.


She thinks that because she’s the mother, she’s entitled to more grieving and mourning than the father.


Doesn’t she see me crying in plain sight?


Why do I have to be the one to comfort her, when I lost him too?


Sean was my son too.


She keeps forgetting that.


Our marriage was so close to shattering.


But we held on. For Sean’s sake.


Now Sean’s gone.


No reason to hold on anymore.


******


I saw them together.


At that moment, he forgot about the fact that his son had taken his own life.


He forgot that he still had a wife.


He laughed like he’d never laughed before and kissed her like she was the only one.


And here I was, thinking that Jason was hurting, that his son’s death had affected him too.


But I was so wrong.


They left in a car.


They didn’t see me.


I wait for him at home, but he doesn’t come.


He messages me at midnight, citing the reason for his absence as a late conference.


Liar.


******


The plate which my mother-in-law had gifted Cecilia before we moved to our own house, the one with the lavender flowers, is thrown in my direction as I narrowly dodge it, breaking into a million tiny pieces, and one piece lodging itself in the sole of my foot.


I stifle my pain, biting my lip hard, as she continues throwing all the crockery she can find, at me.


“Cecilia –”


“I think we can –” I duck as she throws a glass at my head, and it crashes on the wall behind me.


“Work this out.” I finish, as she looks for something else to throw.

I go over to her, wincing at the pain in my foot, and take the vase from her hands, placing it carefully on the counter.


“Non-violently.”


She is breathing hard from her anger and exertion after throwing so much at me.


I pull the piece of glass out of my foot, and as I hop awkwardly, she continues to glare at me.


Sitting down at the dining table and putting a piece of ice on my small yet painful wound, I look at her.


She’s wringing her hands in frustration, and her hair is sticking up everywhere.


“Let’s talk about this like adults, alright?” I say, patting the chair next to me.


Looking like it’s the last thing she wants to do, she sits on the chair next to me, and her face is a mixture of questions.


“You slept with another woman,” she says, her voice coming out as a mere whisper.


“How are you going to explain that? Huh?”


I don’t know what to say to her.


“Have you forgotten our wedding vows? Our promise to be with each other in sickness and in health, to be faithful to each other? Or did you just make those vows to break them?”


“You know, I quit my job today. Because I wanted to spend more time with you. Because I wanted to make this marriage work. Even though Sean is gone. I wanted it to work between us.”


Oh no she didn’t.


“You know, I thought you were hurting too. I thought that you were just good at hiding it. But you weren’t hurting at all. You were just waiting for him to die, weren’t you? So that you could go and stick your tongue down someone else’s throat, without anyone saying a word?”


I am immediately overtaken by an urge to take that vase and throw it at her.


“Shut up, you don’t know what you’re saying.”


“I know exactly what I’m saying. The truth. You were waiting for the last thing between us to break so that you could be set free.”


I run my fingers through my hair in frustration, not able to answer her.


“You’re wrong. You have no idea how it has been for me. Yes, Sean was the only thing holding us together, yes. But that didn’t mean that I didn’t love him, that I was waiting for him to die. He was my son too, and I miss him. So much. But you were grieving too. And you needed your space. I was willing to give it to you too. But there is a limit. I was always asking you how you were feeling, whether you needed anything, whether you were okay. But did you ever ask me? Did you ever walk in on me smelling his pillow and his bedsheets? Did you ever see me going to the bridge and thinking about jumping? Did you ever hear me cry out in pain in the middle of the night when I realized that he wasn’t coming back? Did you?”


She has gone deathly pale.


“So, I went out. To find someone who gets it. And I found her. But the worst part is, that it wasn’t you. It was supposed to be you. But you didn’t get it. You didn’t get it at all. I needed you. But you weren’t there for me.”


Cecilia looks at me, her eyes red-rimmed.


“I think you should go,” she says, wiping her tears and getting up.


“Go where? I don’t have anywhere to go,” I say, confused.


“Go to your mistress. The one who was there for you when I wasn’t. The one who you love more than you ever loved me.”


“Cecilia –”


“Go!” she screams.


She’s right.


I have lost the right to be here anymore.


I have lost the reason to be here anymore.


Because the two people who I stayed for are gone.


******


I sit at the table and cry soundlessly, tears falling, my mouth dry and tasting of salt.


I’m all alone.


I always thought that I was surrounded by too many people all the time.


Crowds are suffocating.


But loneliness is more fatal.


The world has played a cruel prank on me by giving the only thing I wanted in the worst way possible.


Taking away the people I could tolerate.


I need to learn to be by myself.


I need to live for the people who left, the people who had no choice but to.


I pick up the newspaper and start searching for a job.


Tomorrow, I’m going to start cleaning out Jason’s room.


Then Sean’s.


One step at a time.


******

January 05, 2021 15:50

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22 comments

Amel Parvez
14:57 Jan 06, 2021

hey! i loved it but it was soooo sad, yeah amazing too. <3

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Writer Maniac
15:00 Jan 06, 2021

Thank you so much, I appreciate the comment!

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Amel Parvez
15:08 Jan 06, 2021

anytime:)

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Azalea Young
22:43 Jan 05, 2021

This was so good but so sad! I liked see both of the perspectives of the parents--it helped round things out a bit more, but if I could give one tiny critique I would say to add the names at the top on whose perspective we're switching to. Overall, really good!

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Writer Maniac
01:47 Jan 06, 2021

Thank you so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it! I started off with Cecilia and then Jason and kept alternating. I'll be sure to go over it again and check if I can indicate through the dialogue itself whose perspective it is. Thank you for reading it!

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Azalea Young
21:02 Jan 06, 2021

Of course, it was my pleasure!

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Amanda Kelly
19:06 Jan 05, 2021

Hi! Another great story! Very sad, though :( !! I loved how captivating the beginning was! It really brought me into the story. I only have a couple critique. The tenses switched a couple times, which made it a little confusing. Also, I wasn't always sure who was talking. It would've been helpful to have a few more '..." Cecilia said.' kind of a thing. Lastly, It was confusing who the point of view switched to. I had to kind of hunt for the clues of who's point of view was being talked about. Maybe next time, you could add a name with the a...

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Writer Maniac
01:46 Jan 06, 2021

Thank you so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it! I'll make sure to do that in my next stories, you can identify the perspective as I just started with Cecilia then Jason and then kept alternating. I'll go over it again, and check whether I can change the dialogue a bit to make it clear. I'll be sure to reread it and check the tenses, thank you for pointing that out! I'm glad it resonated with you!

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Michelle Knight
23:51 Jan 14, 2021

Loved it! Simple and straight to the point, revealing just how different we grieve. But the change in POV's had me lost there for a minute. Nevertheless, well done 👏

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Writer Maniac
02:11 Jan 15, 2021

Thank you so much! I got this comment a lot, and at the time I wrote it, it seemed pretty logical. I just shifted from Cecilia to Jason, that's all. I'll be sure to keep it in mind for my next stories. Thanks once again for the comment! I would appreciate some feedback on two stories that I'm really proud of, 'Not Worth It' and 'Game Over' :)

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Peggy Gerber
21:39 Jan 13, 2021

What a sad story, but a realistic description of how everybody deals with grief in their own way. Nice job.

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Writer Maniac
09:42 Jan 14, 2021

Thank you so much! I would love some feedback on two of my stories 'Game Over' and 'Not Worth It' as I'm really proud of those two :)

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Carrie O'Keefe
15:00 Jan 12, 2021

I loved how you approached this prompt!

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Writer Maniac
15:10 Jan 12, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I would love some feedback on two of my stories 'Game Over' and 'Not Worth It' as I'm really proud of those two :)

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Cookie Carla🍪
17:56 Jan 05, 2021

I shared your Google form with some people. I hope that's ok.

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Writer Maniac
17:59 Jan 05, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate that! I would also love to know your thoughts on the story :)

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Cookie Carla🍪
15:45 Jan 06, 2021

Oh I absolutely loved your story! It was very dramatic and it was one of those stories were you connect with the characters and the story in general. Not a lot of people can do that in their writing so congrats!! You had me hooked at the first "*****". I think you captured the prompt really well and I never would have thought about going this route with this kind of prompt. Amazing work!!!

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Writer Maniac
15:53 Jan 06, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your comment, I'm so glad you liked it! I would love to know your thoughts on my stories 'Game Over' and 'Not Worth It' because I'm really proud of those, and you can also check out the stories I've mentioned in my bio if you like :)

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Cookie Carla🍪
15:56 Jan 06, 2021

Heading there now!!

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Coco Longstaff
03:43 Jan 07, 2021

Hey Mania! Nice story!!! I love the title too Keep up the good workk

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Writer Maniac
09:53 Jan 07, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

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Coco Longstaff
10:24 Jan 07, 2021

😘

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